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The worlds of French fabulist Jean de la Fontaine and data protection are not so far apart…

As a law firm dedicated to digital and technological companies, we help our clients tackle their highly strategic data protection compliance issues on a continuous basis. We are passionate about data protection laws but managing client’s expectations and initiatives on this topic can be very challenging. What we learnt from our experience is that it is far more efficient to be a tortoise rather than a hare when it comes to implementing data protection principles within an organization.

The “hare and the tortoise”: what Jean de la Fontaine taught us

In France, the story of the race between the hare and the tortoise is perhaps the most popular fable by the poet Jean de la Fontaine. We all remember having to learn it by heart when we were at school. What does it teach us? Many things. And most readers would tell that they learned something different each time they read this masterpiece. We believe that the moral of this fable is that doing things meticulously and steadily guarantees a better outcome than acting with undue haste and arrogance. This is the key takeaway of de la Fontaine’s text when he portrays a tortoise beating a much faster hare at a race because the hare wastes his head start by taking an overconfident nap midway through the race. …


As a law firm dedicated to digital and technological companies, we are very familiar with the concept of scaling up a business: most of our clients are growing exponentially and we are assisting them in their scale-up phase. But, when it comes to our own business model (“lawyering”), we are not interested in scaling up. Indeed, one of our founding creeds is to do what does not scale. And in the current legal business landscape, it is not an obvious choice…

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Our core value: advise & defend

Our business model is centered on a single end: serve, materialize and safeguard our clients’ interests and deliver value-adding advice to help them thrive. We are not commercializing documents, operating on time arrangements or offering processed services. This is not to discount consequential aspects of our work such as time spent in drafting contracts, briefs, memorandum, submissions, managing process or reviewing documents for our clients. However, it is essential to us to clearly mark the line between purpose and consequence as regards our work…


On a Monday morning, we received an email from a product manager at one of our most faithful clients, asking us a random question about a new functionality developed within their product. The email mentioned a dedicated app with a facial recognition system. The functionality was already live for several clients (thousands of users were concerned). The project had been developed without any legal advisor in the loop and our client did not anticipate any legal issue related to this new feature when developing the app.

From our client perspective, this was a mere technological tool designed to improve its product. From our perspective, this was exposing the company to significant legal risks as facial recognition is currently a heated debate (have a look, we talked about it on TV). …

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Parallel Avocats

Platforms, Innovation, Algorithms > law firm dedicated to digital businesses (www.parallel.law) > at the forefront of digital regulation (www.third.digital)

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